The night owls get a treat on Friday night, September 9, as Showtime presents a ShoBox card at 11 PM Eastern/8 PM Pacific. Vincent Arroyo (11-1, 7 KOs) of Amherst, Massachusetts, takes on Puerto Rican fighter Hector Sanchez (19-1, 9 KOs) in the junior welterweight main event. The co-feature brings up-and-coming cruiserweight Lateef Kayode (17-0, 14 KOs) against cannon fodder opponent Felix Cora Jr. (22-5, 12 KOs).
Felix Cora, once a fringe contender at the 200-pound limit, has not beaten a notable opponent since holding the NABF cruiserweight title in 2006. He has been in with a journeyman’s level of opposition for most of his career, with the lone major step up coming against then-unbeaten prospect Matt Godfrey five years ago. Godfrey knocked Cora out in two rounds.
Speaking of Matt Godfrey, Kayode is coming off a 10-round decision win over the Providence-based fighter back on June 10th. Kayode is the naturally bigger man in this fight, having fought his whole career between cruiserweight and heavyweight, while Cora started his career as a light heavyweight and gained weight to campaign in the 200-pound division.
The main event is an intriguing matchup. Vincent Arroyo’s lone loss was a six-round decision to Friday Night Fights regular Mike Dallas Jr. in 2009. Hector Sanchez, for his part, suffered his loss by knockout, a fifth-round stoppage against Cleotis Pendarvis in April of 2010. Sanchez has been largely inactive since that stoppage; he has not fought since last August, his only fight since the KO defeat.
Arroyo would seem to be the favorite here, as he has remained active and beaten two undefeated fighters since the decision loss to a higher-quality foe than the man who vanquished Sanchez. Wins over Jeremy Bryan (13-0 at the time of the fight, KO8) and Willie Nelson (16-0-1 coming in, an 8-round majority decision) have re-established Arroyo’s bona fides as a potential contender in the loaded 140-pound division.
Arroyo has been in with better competition and he has beaten better competition. We shall see as Friday yields to the wee hours of Saturday morning whether that will be enough for a win on Showtime. Once again, the fights air Friday night, September 9, at 11 PM Eastern/8 Pacific.